Wilmington, Ohio – The $15,000 USHJA National Open Hunter Derby welcomed professional athletes to the R+L Arena for Hunter Derby Friday at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington. Robert Barton (USA) designed the tracks that allowed each rider to showcase their horses’ scope and style.
In the end, it was Hillary Johnson (USA) that soared above the competition with Kendall Meijer’s 10-year-old Selle Francias gelding, Elliot.
Johnson, of Meadowview Farm, in Lowell, Michigan, was pleased with the class and found a great opportunity to prepare her horses for the upcoming indoor horse shows.
“Elliot is owned by Kendal Meijer. She shows him in the Adult Hunters mostly. He is here this week getting ready to go to Harrisburg. This was his one class this week to give him a little tune up. I thought the courses were lovely. It really flowed well. I always love the courses here. The ring rides so nicely. It is a great way to get ready for the national indoor shows.”
The duo came into the handy round sitting on top with a score of 88 from a solid first round. Johnson showed two horses in the class and was familiar with the handy track when she returned as the final entry.
“My other horse came in to the handy a bit lower. He had a little stumble in front of the first jump. I don’t know him very well; I don’t show him very often. I went inside to one and after one, he is very handy. On Elliot, I decided to play it safe to the first jump. My purpose in riding him is just to get him ready for the Adult Hunters! I didn’t have to make him do anything too crazy, but he jumped well, and it was enough to make him stay on top,” Johnson explained.
A handy score of 91 and a two-round total of 179 put the duo on top.
WEC – Wilmington sponsor 2nd Round Equestrian presented a $500 bonus to Gustavo Prato and Calderron, the second place finishers after the conclusion of the second round of the $15,000 USHJA National Open Derby.
$15,000 USHJA National Open Hunter Derby Results:
1 Elliot, Hillary Johnson, Copper Fox LLC | 88 | 91 | 179
2 Calderron, Gustavo Prato, Gustavo Prato | 87 | 85 | 172
3 Fineas, Jessica Jurkowitz, Clover Hill Farm | 85 | 85 | 170
4 Mister Wright, Diana Conlon, Jennifer Day | 81 | 83 | 164
5 Corlando 49, Melissa Donnelly, Elizabeth Becker | 75 | 85 | 160
6 Zoso Mille Z, Sam Pegg, Brockelsby Inc | 77 | 79 | 156
7 Mighty Especiale, Sam Pegg, Asta Torokvei | 72 | 80 | 152
8 Cinda, Melissa Donnelly, Elizabeth Becker | 70.5 | 70 | 140.5
9 Happy Boy, Richard Rinehart, Sara Amohundro | 82 | 49 | 131
10 Out Of Office, Hillary Johnson, Copper Fox LLC | 80.5 | 48 | 128.5
Two Wins in a Row for Luke Rinehart & Hero in the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro Hunter Derby
Twenty combinations gathered for the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro Hunter Derby early Friday afternoon in the R+L Arena. Barton’s tracks proved to suit the field of horse-and-athlete pairs with scores in the high 90s.
Consistency was the key to success for Luke Rinehart (USA) and his own Hero (Brainpower x Corini W), as they laid down two respectable rounds to climb the leaderboard.
Rinehart sat in second place going into the handy phase with a score of 90. The young rider felt confident with his position after round one and changed his plan accordingly.
“My plan changed from the walk to the handy. I originally wanted to do the inside turn from one to two, but I was sitting in a good spot. I decided that playing it safe would be the better option. The course suited Hero. He likes those long bending lines; he can jump the oxers with some impulsion,” said Rinehart.
Returning in top form off of round one, Rinehart guided his 11-year-old KWPN gelding to a brilliant handy track and was rewarded with a score of 86.
With two consistent high scores, the duo was able to top the class with an overall score of 176.
Lizzie Rinehart (USA) earned a pair of 87s with Bond (Clarimo) and stood alongside her brother in the winner’s circle to continue their family podium streak.
$15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro Hunter Derby Results:
1 Hero, Luke Rinehart, Luke Rinehart | 90 | 86 | 176
2 Bond, Elizabeth Rinehart, Elizabeth Rinehart | 87 | 87 | 174
3 Express De B’Neville, Anona Svenksen, Anona Svenksen | 82 | 90 | 172
4 C’Est La Vie, Emma Rupinksi, River Run Farm |78.5 | 91 | 169.5
5 All Eyes On Me, Kelly Doherty, Kelly Doherty | 94 | 75 | 169
6 A Million Dreams, Reagan Gehm, RGG Equestrian LLC | 80 | 88 | 168
7 Kingston Blue, Elizabeth Rinehart, Claire Rockacy | 72.5 | 89 | 161.5
8 Billy Cromwell, Elizabeth Rinehart, Elizabeth Rinehart | 77.5 | 77 | 154.5
9 Dynasty, Emma Rupinski, Michael Tokaruk | 76 | 76 | 152
10 Hendrik, Asta Torokvei, Asta Torokvei | 77 | 66 | 143